The likelihood of higher-than-normal residual soil nutrient levels following a year of low yields and drought-affected crop development make fall soil testing more important this year. | File photo

Drought increases need for fall soil testing

Samples should be taken as close to freeze-up as possible to ensure nutrient analysis values do not change appreciably


Farmers need to know what nutrients are left in the soil once harvest is finished and the crop is in the bin. That’s especially true this year, given stratospheric fertilizer prices and the likelihood of higher-than-normal residual soil nutrient levels following a year of low yields and drought-affected crop development. “Certainly heat and drought played […] Read more

The Falcon soil sampler’s carousel holds 12 boxes or bags and can label and geo-locate these for year to year repeatability. A Windows touch screen computer runs the system and feeds data and video to the operator in the cab. A built-in cabinet holds replacement carousels and soil samples. The soil sampler was a hit at the AG Connect Expo during New Orleans’ Commodity Classic in March. The first unit to reach the market is working in eastern Montana this spring.  |  Michael Raine photo

High capacity soil sampling adds accuracy and economy

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Soil sampling on-the-go had only been conquered by one company before this season. However this spring that changed as a new player entered the market. With nearly a decade of development and marketing, Agrobotics’ Autoprobe has been the leader in high throughput, precision soil sampling. But there’s a new dirt slinger […] Read more

Expert says nutrients can vary within small areas and across fields, so take samples in spring and use multiple soil samples for best results. | File illustration

When in doubt, dig deeper

WATROUS, Sask. — Sometimes farmers need to dig a little deeper, says a University of Saskatchewan soil scientist. A six-inch soil test will give farmers a good read on things like phosphorus and potassium, but other micronutrients are more mobile. “I think it’s always, especially under wet conditions, a good idea to occasionally check below […] Read more